One of the sports with ties to the ancient Olympics may be gone from the modern Olympics in 2020.
The International Olympic Committee’s executive board voted Tuesday (Feb. 12) to drop wrestling from the 2020 Games. The IOC didn’t really explain its decision, but it’s drawn widespread criticism from within the sport and without.
“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams says. “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”
Going into the meeting, modern pentathlon — an event that combines riding, fencing, swimming, shooting and running — was considered most at risk of being dropped. It’s still in for 2020, however. A source tells the AP wrestling was voted out of a final group that also included taekwondo and field hockey.
Wrestling will now have to apply to be included in the 2020 Olympics, along with baseball/softball, karate, “roller sports” and a few others. At the 2012 Olympics in London, 344 athletes — men and women — competed in wrestling, and 29 different countries won medals. Its Olympic tradition dates back to the ancient games, and it’s been part of every modern Summer Olympics.